22

A year ago I wrote this. I feel like it was yesterday. Although I could probably come up with a list of 22 new things I've learned over these past 365(ish?) days, I feel like there's only one thing worth mentioning.

22 has always troubled me. Years ago, this is when I saw myself graduating college, starting a real career, and maybe even settling down. 22 has always seemed like a pivotal year to me, where partying and child's play were out of my system, where my studies would be a thing of the past, and where I could actually start doing something with my life.

When I graduated at 18, I decided that, instead of going straight to college, I wanted to instead experience the world... or the East Coast, at least. I drove solo to Boston, spent time in Maine and New Hampshire, and settled for a summer in Washington, DC. I'm so glad I did.

I travelled, I fell in love, I drank a lot, and I wrote a lot. I think I needed that extra year.

Since then, I've watched most of my friends graduate college, get engaged, and have babies. I'm not going to pretend I'm not a tiny bit jealous, but I know that taking extra time for myself was the right thing to do. Living my life by someone else's standards just isn't practical. I'm getting through school at my own pace, and I'm comfortable being non-traditional.

21 has been an amazing year. Probably the best year of my life.

For the first time in my life, I have lived completely openly and honestly. I met a man, and I haven't told him a single lie. I met a man that I love deeply, deeper than I knew was possible... I stopped pretending, and I started being honest about my goals and my future - to everyone. I don't want to get a degree that's going to make me a lot of money but not satisfy my soul. I don't want to sit inside of a cubicle. I want to do what I love. I want to be somebody.

If I know anything now that I didn't know then, it's that being honest is the only way to make yourself happy. Be honest in your relationships, be honest in your career, and most importantly, be honest to yourself.

I don't know where I'm going, but I know that I'm on my way there.